COLUMBIA, S.C. — The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) says a raccoon found in Kershaw County has tested positive for rabies. No exposures have been reported at this time.
The racoon, found near Dubose Court and Roberts Street in Camden, was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on September 30th and was confirmed to have rabies on October 1st.
“Keeping your pets up to date on their rabies vaccination is the easiest way to protect you and your family from this deadly virus,” said David Vaughan, Director of DHEC's Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention, and Enforcement Division. "If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it. Contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitator."
If you believe that you or someone you know has had contact with or been potentially exposed to this or another suspect animal, please reach out to your local Environmental Affairs office. An exposure is defined as a bite, a scratch, or contact with saliva or body fluids from an infected or possibly infected animal.
If your pet is found with wounds of unknown origin, please consider that your pet could have been exposed to rabies and contact DHEC's Environmental Affairs Sumter office at (803) 778-6548 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday). To report a bite or exposure on holidays or times outside of normal business hours, please call the DHEC after-hours service number at (888) 847-0902.
This raccoon is the eighth animal in Kershaw County to test positive for rabies in 2020. There have been 133 cases of rabid animals statewide this year.
Since 2011, South Carolina has averaged approximately 130 positive cases a year. In 2019, one of the 148 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Kershaw County.